The Emotional Freedom Technique: A Great Way To Resolve Stress
The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) – also known as “Tapping” – is a modern healing modality rooted in the wisdom of Chinese medicine. The EFT protocol is a relatively simple way to activate powerful acupuncture points, and then to utilize the newly released life-force energy to clear emotional blocks, and reduce mental and physical stress.
In western medical/scientific terms, the Emotional Freedom Technique has been shown to facilitate the clearing of cortisol from the body. Cortisol is a stress-response hormone that is released from brain when the body-mind is experiencing fear. So reducing cortisol is a great way to calm an overly reactive sympathetic nervous system — the “flight or flight or freeze” response – and help us to feel more relaxed and at ease.
Read on to learn more about this powerful healing modality: how it works and how it can help you …
Acupuncture & The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
The art and science of acupuncture — in which hair-thin needles are inserted into specific points along channels of life-force energy called meridians, in order to re-establish a harmonious functioning of the human body-mind — has been around for thousands of years. Closely related to acupuncture are healing modalities such as acupressure, shiatsu and tuina – which also work by balancing the flow of life-force energy (whose Chinese name is Qi or Chi) by stimulating specific acupuncture points.
As mentioned above, the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) also has its roots in the theory and practice of acupuncture. But how exactly does it work?
How Does EFT / Tapping Work?
As its name implies, the EFT Tapping protocol involves tapping on a series of powerful acupuncture points. The stimulation of these key acupuncture points is combined with verbal cues, to support the release of old mental/emotional patterns (held within the cells and tissues of the bodymind) and a replacement of those unproductive patterns with more empowering belief systems, aligned more closely with our true nature and inner wisdom.
Since stagnant emotional energy can set the stage for physical disease, the clearing of “stuck” emotional energy keeps us physically as well as mentally healthy!
Acupuncture Points Used In EFT / Tapping Sequence
The basic Emotional Freedom Technique Tapping sequence includes the following acupuncture points, which are activated via a gentle self-tapping using the tips of the first and middle fingers of either hand.
* Side of palm (known as the karate-chop point) — This activates a point on the Small Intestine meridian (SI3) whose primary actions include: relaxing the muscle channels, opening the Du meridian (aka Governing Vessel), and clearing the Shen/Spirit (one of the Three Treasures). The Du meridian, which runs vertically along the spinal column, is one of the Eight Extraordinary Meridians, and has powerful effects upon the entire central nervous system (including the spinal cord and brain).
* Eyebrow point — This is the 2nd point on the Bladder meridian (UB2). This meridian begins at the inner eye, flows up and over the head, down either side of the spine, continues down the back of the legs, and ends at the little toe.
* Side of eye — This is the 1st point on the Gallbladder meridian (GB1) and, just lateral to it, an extra point called Yin Tang (which has a strong calming-the-Spirit action). The Gallbladder meridian begins at the outer eye, flows up and over the sides of the head, continues down the sides of the torso, hips and outer legs, ending at the 4th toe.
* Below eye — This is the first point on the Stomach meridian (ST1). This meridian begins at the lower eye, flows down the face and front of the neck, continues down the front of the torso (lateral to the midline) and inner legs, ending at the 2nd toe. The Stomach meridian is known to be particularly “rich in Qi and blood.”
* Between upper lip and nose — This Tapping point encompasses three points on the Du Meridian (Governing Vessel): DU26, DU27 & DU28. (See general explanation of this meridian in the side-of-palm point).
* Between lower lip and chin — This is the final point on the Ren meridian (aka Conception Vessel): REN24. Closing the gap between this point and the previous one (i.e. between the upper and lower lip) is an important aspect of activating the Microcosmic Orbit — a powerful, circular flow of energy cultivated by qigong practitioners.
* Collarbone point — Sometimes this point is tapped right in the center, at the sternum, in which case it corresponds to Ren20 and Ren21(and can “wake up” the thymus gland). At other times it is tapped slightly lateral to the center-line, closer to the 13th point on the Stomach meridian (ST13).
* Armpit point — This tapping point corresponds to another point on the Gallbladder meridian (GB22), which wakes up the flow of energy in the chest and diaphragm area, as well as along the sides of the body.
* Crown of the head point — This point corresponds to one of our “acupressure treasures” — Bai Hui (Hundred Convergences) — and has an important relationship, also, to the Chong/Sushumna Nadi — and what in Hindu yogic systems in known as the Crown Chakra.
Though it’s interesting to notice how closely the Tapping protocol is related to the acupuncture system, please understand also that it’s not at all necessary — when using the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) — to know these specific details. The take-home point is simply that the EFT sequence is indeed a very powerful one for activating a flow of life-force energy throughout the body. Because it’s rooted in ancient, time-tested wisdom, you can trust it!
Tapping – Give It A Whirl!
Now that you know a bit of the theory of how EFT / Tapping works, how about giving it a try? Since the protocol is fairly simple and straightforward, video guidance works quite well as an introduction. As with any healing modality, finding a practitioner is a very individual thing, and I encourage you, if you feel inspired to go deeper with this practice, to look around until you find one that feels just right, for you. You can also play with creating scripts of your own — tailor-made to your unique circumstances.
I have found the Tapping World Summit really helpful – every year, brother and sister team Jessica and Nick Ortner gather together top EFT practitioners to enable us to access free EFT sessions for a variety of outcomes. Personally I find that EFT releases blocks incredibly rapidly. Here is one of Jessica’s EFT recordings for clearing stress in the morning…
Questions or comments? Feel free to contact us.